Shop local. Support local. Eat local. This is the motto of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM), which strives to support and promote the growers, makers, and bakers in your community.
With over 145+ participating farmers’ markets across our province, it can be challenging to find a farmers’ market in your area, and know which vendors to look out for during your visit. Created as a great resource for visitors in each region of BC, The BC Farmers’ Markets Trail has been developed, giving locals a personalized perspective on what makes each region unique, and which offerings can be found at each market.
To get you started on some of the highlights of each region, here are 5 farm vendors to look out for on the BC Farmers’ Market Trail. Add these to your shopping list, and be sure to check out this great resource for more information on how you can shop local and support small business and farms in your area.
Top 5 vendors you’ll want to check out on the BC Farmers’ Market Trail
1) Vendor: Goat River Farms Ltd
Region: Kootenay Rockies and Columbia Basin
Owners/farmers: Dale and Wendy McNamar
Selling at: Creston Valley Farmers’ Market
They sell meat (certified Angus beef, heritage pork, turkey, chicken, lamb and rabbit) and natural unpasteurized honey.
What makes them special? Kootenay Natural Meats raises animals ethically and humanely, with care and customized diets to offer superior meat in both flavour and nutritional content. They also have 30 bee hives, which they extract honey from each fall, and sell in its pure, delicious, unpasteurized form. Of note, this honey was used to make the recent BC Farmers’ Market Honey Blonde Ale, a collaboration beer created by Persephone Brewing Company, and the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets.
More Info: https://www.kootenaynaturalmeats.com/
Photo credit: Goat River Farms
2) Vendor: Twin Island Cider
Region: Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands
Cider makers and owners: Matthew Vasilev and Katie Selbee
Partners and owners: Sandra MacPherson & Noel Hall
Location: Pender Island
Selling at: Pender Island Farmers’ Market
They make heirloom cider and perry (alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of apples and pears).
What makes them special? Harvesting from over thirty heritage (various century old) orchards and backyards on Pender, Saturna & Mayne Islands, they are a community-centred cidery dedicated to making traditional cider and perry fermented only with native yeasts present on fruit skins, mills and presses, and in the air. This produces cider which truly conveys the terroir of the Gulf Islands with a natural residual sweetness without the need for back-sweetening with added sugar.
More Info: http://www.twinislandcider.com/#home-section
Photo credit: Twin Island Cider
3) Vendor: Woodgrain Farm
Region: Northern BC
Owners/farmers: Jonathan Knight and Jolene Swain
Selling at: Hazelton Farmers’ Market, Bulkley Valley Farmers Market
They grow vegetables and grains, and raise lamb.
What makes them special? They grow heirloom varieties of various grains, and vegetables. Their organic flours are freshly ground on their 12” granite stone mill, fashioned from Kispiox Valley birch. An advantage of quarried granite mill stones (as opposed to manufactured composite stones common in most modern ‘stone mills’), is that the outer bran peels off the grain in large flakes instead of being shredded by the gritty surface of composite stones, making the bran flakes gentler on the digestive system, and are easy to sift out if you desire a lighter flour.
More Info: https://woodgrain.ca/
Photo credit: BC Farmers’ Market Trail & Aaron Whitfield
4) Vendor: Spapium “Little Prairie” Farm
Region: Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
Owners/farmers: Paula Cranmer-Underhill, Brian Cranmer-Underhill (and daughters Brianna and Danielle)
Selling at: Two Rivers Farmers’ Market
They grow vegetables, make jams and preserves, and do traditional cedar weaving. They also offer cultural and farm tours.
What makes them special? Working in the footsteps of their ancestors to revive agriculture and grow tourism for the Nlaka’pamux territory. Spapium “Little Prairie” Farm is located on lands left by Paula’s Grandfather, Raymond Thom; it is a healing destination on the land, growing good food in a way that is gentle on the Earth for sustainability of the land and water resources.
More Info: https://spapiumfarm.ca/
5) Vendor: Paradise Valley Produce
Region: Sunshine Coast
Owners/farmers: Dane and Rachael Sherstad
Selling at: Powell River Farmers’ Market and Sechelt Farmers and Artisans Market
Location: Paradise Valley, just outside of Powell River
They grow certified organic vegetables.
What makes them special? Paradise Valley Produce is focused on sustainable farm practices and regenerative farming, and owners Rachael and Dane are invested in being stewards of the land. Interesting to note that their farm land was once a successful goat dairy operation run by the Lambert Family in the 1900s.
More Info: https://www.paradisevalleyproduce.ca/
Visit www.bcfarmersmarkettrail.com for more information on the 145+ authentic farmers’ markets and 4000+ vendors in ten different regions all across the province this summer!